conference Day #1

Friday, Dec. 10th
Conference Schedule

Deaf Interpreter Panel

6:15-7:30 PM ET


Erin Sanders-Sigmon (she) - Moderator

Erin Sanders-Sigmon is a game changer, mentor, deaf & DeafBlind multilingual Interpreter, DASL, transliterator, writer, consultant, abolitionist, and survivor of ZOOM Culture. She serves on the Core Circle of National Deaf Interpreters (NDI) and believes in 360* views, ALL Justices, especially Language, Disability, Transformative, Restorative, Social, and Racial Justice. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Ms. Sanders-Sigmon's lifelong aim is to dismantle all hierarchies, and while uplifting the underrepresented, underserved, also influencing those in a position of privilege. The mission? To unite and create a just environment and spaces that are fully accessible for all walks of life, in the plethora of settings that exist in our current milieu., and finally, passing on that legacy. A just legacy that is sustainable... until the end of time.


Vyron Kinson (he)

Vyron Kinson lives in Atlanta, GA. Currently, he works full-time with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) as a Communication Specialist. He also has various part-time positions: Atlanta Area School for the Deaf as an ASL Teacher, Georgia Parent Infant Network Educational Service as a Deaf Mentor, CATIE Center: Graduation to Certification Project as a Co-Facilitator and ASL Mentor; ASL Diagnostic Service LLC as owner and Deaf Interpreter and he is also a freelance Disco Jockey.

Vyron obtained a Master‘s Degree in Sign Language Education in August 2020 at his alma mater, Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Vyron graduated from Gallaudet University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. 

Besides working and studying, Vyron contributes his time and energy to volunteer with the following: Georgia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf as a Member at Large Representative; National Alliance of Black Interpreters-Atlanta Chapter as a member; Georgia Stakeholder Advisory Committee as Black Deaf Adult; National Black Deaf Advocates as Southern Regional Representative.


Stephanie "SJ" Hakulin (she)

Stephanie is a Deaf Interpreter and resides in Massachusetts.



Topher González Ávila (he)

Topher González Ávila, MA was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He moved to Dallas, Texas when he was a baby. His Deaf mom raised Topher and his two Deaf siblings in a multilingual family of Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM), American Sign Language (ASL), English and Spanish. Topher graduated from University of North Texas with Bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice and Radio, Television & Film (RTVF) in 2015. He continued his education at Gallaudet University and graduated in 2018 with a Master's in Sign Language Education. Topher is a Certified Deaf Interpreter with the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) since 2016. He is the first Deaf Latinx interpreter in the state of Texas to hold a BEI Court Interpretation certification. Topher teaches for Gallaudet University's Master's in Sign Language Education program. Topher works as a community interpreter and a freelance video editor. Topher is proud to be Brown, Queer and Deaf. It was and still is a journey for him to finally embrace the person he is. He works with and for his communities especially, BIPOC Deaf youth and Queer Deaf youth through local, state and national organizational advocacy efforts.


Hunta Williams (he, they)

Hunta Williams, DeafBlind, hails from New York City. He has attended four different deaf schools and graduated from Lexington School for the Deaf. Hunta received a Bachelor of Science degree in culinary management at The Art Institutes International Minnesota. He furthered his education at the graduate level by achieving a Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. Professionally, he has worked as an ASL teacher, tutor, sign model, Deaf interpreter, DeafBlind interpreter, and sign language specialist.

This professional skill has also been put to use in the community, where he has provided his expertise on topics such as individual and
disability rights advocacy, linguistic culture and cultural competency, sensitivity, and awareness. As though he is not busy enough, Hunta remains active in the community. He is currently board chair for the 20% Theatre Company in the Twin Cities, and serves on the 20% Theatre ASL Access Committee. Additionally, Hunta works tirelessly with the Transgender Equity Council and within the transgender community.

In his free time, he loves to play disc golf, read, watch movies, play sports, and spend time with nephews, sons, and goddaughters. Also, he loves cooking international foods and specializes in Jamaican cuisine.


Marsellette Davis (she)

Miss Marsellette, Manhattan, 18 years in NYC. Involved with NYC communities in many activities that are Deaf friendly.




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Multicultural Panel

7:45-9 PM ET


Dr. Pamela Collins (she) - Moderator

Dr. Pamela Collins is a native Washingtonian, she has earned an AS in Interpreting from Catonsville Community College, BA in American Sign Language, and a M.S. in Administration and Supervision from Gallaudet University. She is an active member of the interpreting and Deaf communities, having served as President of NAOBI-DC. She currently serves as an interpreter educator and mentor. Her future plans include continuing to work on “Capturing the Moment,” her undergraduate project focusing on the experiences of elders in the Black Deaf and interpreting communities.


Rafael Treviño (he)

I'm a former program coordinator and full-time faculty member of an interpreter training program. I'm now completing my doctoral studies, focusing on educational objectives in interpreter training. My other research work and interests include bimodal-multilingual interpreting, corpus-based translation and interpreting studies, and interpreter workload.


Su Isakson (she)

Su Kyong Isakson, MA, NIC, Ed:K-12, is a freelance interpreter, IMI practitioner, mentor and educator hailing from Alaska. Ms. Isakson is currently a faculty member at the Community College of Baltimore County’s interpreter preparation program in Catonsville, MD. Her areas of interest include curriculum and pedagogy of heritage sign language learners, interpreter education, and service learning. In her spare time Ms. Isakson enjoys traveling abroad, photography, baking, and regional food and wine.


Marina Martinez Cora (she)

Marina Martínez Cora is currently the Director of Finance of “El Registro de Intérpretes para Sordos de Puerto Rico, Inc” known as RISPRI. Marina is a candidate for a PHD in linguistics at the University of Puerto Rico. Marina's research interests are in Sign languages, specifically phonology, phonetic and second language acquisition by children of Deaf adults (CODA). She is also committed to use her skills as a linguist to help preserve and document the sign languages of Puerto Rico. She has worked as a Sign Language interpreter for over 15 years and has served the Deaf community as an advocate, advisor and educator. Her research on, “The mouth morphemes in Puerto Rican Sign Language: A closer look into language contact with Spanish” was presented in the 22 nd Biennial Conference of the Society of Caribbean Linguistics and the Society of Pidgins and Creole Linguistics in Costa Rica were was recognized as a research that contributes to the sign languages of the Caribbean. Marina is a CODA who strongly believes that the empowerment of the Deaf community starts by the recognition of the Sign Languages of Puerto Rico and the involvement of the community in all the decision and policy making of their language, culture and education.

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Conference Day #2

Saturday, Dec. 11th
Conference Schedule

"An Introduction: Empathetic Frameworks and Their Applications in Interpreting"

10-11:30 AM ET


Kristen Moody (she)

Kristin Moody is an empathy researcher and educator who uses the science of empathy to build authentic connections across diverse people. She is inspired by the biological instinct humans have to empathize with one another and the potential empathy has to address the most pressing threats to civilization. She first learned about the power of empathy as a high school teacher, where she saw the impact relationship-building made on student and teacher outcomes. Kristin went on to formally study empathy and integrate that understanding into support for individuals and organizations seeking improved culture, equity, and access to authenticity. She now teaches, researches, and explores empathy frameworks to help diverse people connect in ways that promote, celebrate, and leverage authenticity.

Kristin received her BA in English and Secondary Education from CUNY Hunter College, MS in Education and Leadership from Pepperdine University, and EdD in Organizational Leadership and Change from the University of Southern California. Her research on the role of empathy in urban high school student outcomes won Dissertation of the Year for USC in 2018. She completed additional study in the Neuroscience of Learning from the Annenberg Foundation and Positive Psychology from UPenn, and she holds a Professional Coaching Certificate from the International Coaching Federation. She is a private coach and consultant and teaches Empathetic Leadership at Morehouse College and Empathy Building at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah.

"Interpreting is Not Just for Deaf Adults: Interpreting for Deaf children"

11:45 AM-1 PM ET


Norma Morán (she)

Norma Morán obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) and a Master of Arts degree from American University (Washington, D.C.) along with certificates in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Northwestern University and Cornell University. She is currently the Associate Ombuds for Gallaudet University. Norma is the mother of three children who are Hearing, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing. She is a member of the Maryland Advisory Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MACDHH) for the State of Maryland and the Maryland/Washington DC Chapter of Hands and Voices. Norma has given numerous presentations for a wide variety of organizations and institutions.


Najma Johnson (they)

Najma Johnson, MA, a BlackDeafBlind Trans non-binary folx, is currently the Executive Director at DAWN , an anti-violence agency providing services for the DeafDisasbled, DeafBlind, Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late-deafened who experienced power-based violence. Najma co-founded Together All in Solidarity

(TAS), an umbrella anti-violence community collaboration that functions as a network for marginalized communities within the Deaf Community. Transformative Justice and abolition work is the core of Najma’s values. Under TAS, Najma has provided consultation in various capacities from organizing to policy development, trauma-centered work, and anti-violent workplace training.

Najma’s 2 grandchildren are the catalyst of becoming involved in their communication access. This led Najma to become dedicated to trauma-centered anti-violence work within the Deaf community. Najma is an Anti-Violence Educator for Creando Lazos where they provide support and education to address language justice and violence within the interpreting entities, agencies, K-12 and higher education and the Deaf communities.


Georginia Fitzpatrick (she)

Georginia Fitzpatrick hails from Toms River, New Jersey, but grew up in South Carolina. She grew up with a Deaf family, where they immensely use American Sign Language. Currently, she resides in Temple Hills, MD, and teaches Deaf Studies, American Sign Language (ASL), and Media. She graduated from Gallaudet University in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in Deaf Studies, International Studies and minored in Linguistics. In 2014, she returned to school and graduated again from Gallaudet University with a Master's in Sign Language Education. In her Master's program, it has fostered her academic learning such as developing a curriculum, utilizing multimedia skills, understanding the methodologies of sign language teaching, developing assessments, participating in language planning, and advocacy to cultivate the best preparation she could receive when teaching Deaf studies, and sign language. After graduation, she worked for a K-12 school for six years. She is very passionate about supporting the linguistic fundamentals and implementing their sign language as an official language in print among different countries. She has an adventurous spirit to meet new people, learn more about culture, language, etc around the globe. Lastly, she hoped to obtain the Ph.D. in Education Policy and Leadership Specialization to ensure a change within the residential school's system.


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"Modeling Visual Language in the Classroom"

2-3:15 PM ET


Windell "Wink" Smith Jr. (he)

Wink, MA, MBA, NIC Master, enjoys researching and creating various workshops that focus on skill building through deliberate practice, which he wrote about in the RID Views, Winter 2012 issue. Presenting workshops the last ten years at national conferences (NAD, RID, Silent Weekend) regional conferences (RID I, II, III, IV, V), state conferences, and local workshops across the nation has given Wink experiences to enhance applications for interpreters of all levels. Wink is widely noted for the comfortable atmosphere he creates and the passion he exudes. Currently Wink travels full time performing, presenting workshops, and managing Winkshop, Inc, through which he has developed a dozen training DVDs. Wink currently is working on his PhD in linguistics from Gallaudet University where he investigates the embodied motivations of imagery in depiction. (ASL Bio: https://youtu.be/o4Pv0mAqETA)

"De-centering Ableism"

3:30-4:45 PM ET


Najma Johnson (they)

Najma Johnson, MA, a BlackDeafBlind Trans non-binary folx, is currently the Executive Director at DAWN , an anti-violence agency providing services for the DeafDisasbled, DeafBlind, Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late-deafened who experienced power-based violence. Najma co-founded Together All in Solidarity

(TAS), an umbrella anti-violence community collaboration that functions as a network for marginalized communities within the Deaf Community. Transformative Justice and abolition work is the core of Najma’s values. Under TAS, Najma has provided consultation in various capacities from organizing to policy development, trauma-centered work, and anti-violent workplace training.

Najma’s 2 grandchildren are the catalyst of becoming involved in their communication access. This led Najma to become dedicated to trauma-centered anti-violence work within the Deaf community. Najma is an Anti-Violence Educator for Creando Lazos where they provide support and education to address language justice and violence within the interpreting entities, agencies, K-12 and higher education and the Deaf communities.


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Conference Day #3

Sunday, Dec. 12th
Conference Schedule

"Working Effectively with Gender and Sexual Minorities"

10-11:30 AM ET


Bethany Gehman (she, they)

Bethany Gehman, M.Ed., an AASECT certified sexuality educator, has more than seven years of experience in providing sexuality education and  professional training. She is currently working as Deaf, DeafBlind, & Hard of Hearing Education Program Manager at Family Tree Clinic in St. Paul,  Minnesota. Bethany provides sexual health education for people of all ages, conducts professional training, and promotes affirming and comprehensive  sexuality education in Deaf K-12 residential programs. She also conducts sexuality interpreting training in order for interpreters to provide better access for  the Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened communities. She strives to connect with the community through her videos and  interactions through her workshops / training. Advocacy and education cannot happen without genuine connections. When Bethany is not busy with her  community work, she creates high-quality and accessible American Sign Language YouTube videos on sexuality.

"Reframing Depiction: Constructed action, dialogue, surrogation and the like"

11:45 AM-1 PM ET


Windell "Wink" Smith Jr. (he)

Wink, MA, MBA, NIC Master, enjoys researching and creating various workshops that focus on skill building through deliberate practice, which he wrote about in the RID Views, Winter 2012 issue. Presenting workshops the last ten years at national conferences (NAD, RID, Silent Weekend) regional conferences (RID I, II, III, IV, V), state conferences, and local workshops across the nation has given Wink experiences to enhance applications for interpreters of all levels. Wink is widely noted for the comfortable atmosphere he creates and the passion he exudes. Currently Wink travels full time performing, presenting workshops, and managing Winkshop, Inc, through which he has developed a dozen training DVDs. Wink currently is working on his PhD in linguistics from Gallaudet University where he investigates the embodied motivations of imagery in depiction. (ASL Bio: https://youtu.be/o4Pv0mAqETA)

"Deaf-Hearing Interpreter Teams in Academics"

3:20-4:50 PM ET


April Jackson-Woodard (she)

April Jackson-Woodard, a Missouri native who now calls Maryland home. April was born and raised as a translator from a multigenerational Deaf family then became Deaf interpreter professional in 2018. Jackson-Woodard grew up in public school then earned her bachelor of science degree in Business Administration and minor in Fine Arts specializing in Theatre and Production at Gallaudet University in 2012. She is known as a storyteller for the Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) Science Center at Gallaudet University, which launched several VL2 storybook apps where she participated as a storyteller on two of VL2 storybook apps in “The Baobab” and “The Blue Lobster.”

Jackson-Woodard specializing in the interpretations of Black American Sign Language (BASL), platform/conference, medical, legal, Tactile/ProTactile, International sign and theatre settings - locally, nationally and internationally. She is a member in good standing with the following professional organizations: National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), DC Area Black Deaf Advocates (DCABDA), Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), Potomac Chapter Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PCRID), and the National Alliance of Black Interpreters and DC (NAOBI-DC). During her special moments, April loves to exercise, travel, socialize and spend time with her gorgeous two Deaf children.


Topher González Ávila (he)

Topher González Ávila, MA was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He moved to Dallas, Texas when he was a baby. His Deaf mom raised Topher and his two Deaf siblings in a multilingual family of Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM), American Sign Language (ASL), English and Spanish. Topher graduated from University of North Texas with Bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice and Radio, Television & Film (RTVF) in 2015. He continued his education at Gallaudet University and graduated in 2018 with a Master's in Sign Language Education. Topher is a Certified Deaf Interpreter with the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) since 2016. He is the first Deaf Latinx interpreter in the state of Texas to hold a BEI Court Interpretation certification. Topher teaches for Gallaudet University's Master's in Sign Language Education program. Topher works as a community interpreter and a freelance video editor. Topher is proud to be Brown, Queer and Deaf. It was and still is a journey for him to finally embrace the person he is. He works with and for his communities especially, BIPOC Deaf youth and Queer Deaf youth through local, state and national organizational advocacy efforts.

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